‘He’s shown promise and will get better with time’: Ashish Nehra backs India opener
Since making his Test debut, this batsman’s stocks have raised significantly. He’s hit 974 runs from 11 Tests at an average of 57.29, which before the New Zealand series, was 70.Updated: Aug 04, 2020 23:52 IST
India’s Test tour of New Zealand didn’t turn out quite the way Virat Kohli expected it to but there were certain individual performances the Indian team could be satisfied with. Ishant Sharma picked up a five-wicket haul in the first match in Wellington, followed by Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara and Hanuma Vihari peeling off half-centuries in Christchurch.
However, the one player that has got former India quick Ashish Nehra talking is Mayank Agarwal. In Wellington, the opening batsman scored 34 and 58 and even though Agarwal failed in Christchurch with scores of 7 and 3, Nehra is impressed with what he’s seen of Agarwal in testing conditions of New Zealand.
“It takes time and New Zealand is not an easy place,” Nehra said on the Cricket Connected Show on Star Sports. “With my experience, for batters, the most difficult place on this planet when it comes to cricket-playing nations is New Zealand. New Zealand has always been tough, so Mayank Agarwal, I am sure he has learnt a lot from the New Zealand tour. And it was not only for him, and for everyone, it was a challenge.”
Since making his Test debut against Australia in the 2018-19 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Agarwal’s stocks have raised significantly. He’s hit 974 runs from 11 Tests at an average of 57.29, which before the New Zealand series, was 70. In this while, he has scored three centuries, converting two of them into double tons, including a career-best 243 against Bangladesh last year.
A regular feature for Karnataka in the Indian domestic circuit, for long, Agarwal was struggling to convert his starts, getting out in 20s and 30. Then came the record-breaking Ranji Trophy 2017-18 season, where he tallied 1160 runs. From there, Agarwal has only continued to make rapid strides, making a mark in Test cricket and solving India’s opening woes. The New Zealand series was a bit of a dampener but Nehra feels Agarwal will only get better with the experience.
“He has shown promise, there is no doubt about it. And it’s early days in his career, you have to give everyone time,” Nehra said. “He has done really well in domestic games and India-A and that’s how he got his chance. He is not somebody who has been playing domestic cricket for one or two years and suddenly he comes to the scene. He has scored a lot of runs and am sure with time he will get better and better.”